- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana State Police say 13 people have been arrested in connection with an insurance fraud scheme involving staged automobile crashes.

A news release says Thursday’s arrests followed an investigation that began with complaints from insurance companies.

Investigators say the scheme involved a group of people who regularly participated in reporting fictitious automobile crashes, bogus injuries and property damage in southwestern Louisiana.

At least seven phony crashes were involved. State police estimate the group defrauded insurance companies out of more than $30,000.

Those arrested were jailed in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. State police said three more suspects were at large.

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